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The Art & Science Of Technique

The term 'technique' often conjures images of dexterous fingers flying across the fretboard of a guitar or a pianist's precise execution of complex arpeggios. But technique in music transcends mere physical proficiency; it is the key to unlocking the sounds that reside in the deepest corners of a musician's imagination. In this exploration, we delve into the multifaceted role of technique in music, emphasizing its function as a means to manifest the sonic visions that haunt the minds of musicians.

**Technique as a Tool for Sonic Expression**

One of the fundamental purposes of technique in music is to act as a bridge between the artist's creative thoughts and the auditory world. Musicians are often driven by a profound desire to materialize the sounds that inhabit their minds. Technique provides them with the tools to do just that. It's the vessel that allows a composer to translate their symphonic daydreams into a coherent musical composition or a guitarist to convey the emotion concealed in their melodies. In essence, technique serves as the language through which musicians articulate their innermost musical aspirations.

**Technique: Not About Right or Wrong**

It's crucial to grasp that technique in music is not about adhering to a rigid definition of "right" or "wrong." Rather, it serves as a means of removing obstacles in a musician's path. These obstacles can be anything from physical limitations to creative inhibitions. By honing their technique, musicians can clear the path to musical fluency, allowing their creativity to flow freely. It's not a matter of conformity but of creating a sturdy foundation on which to build musical innovation.

In the words of the late great Jim Chapin: "If anyone tells you there is one way to hold a drumstick, walk away."

**A Foundation for Longevity**

Technique also plays a pivotal role in the longevity of a musician's career. Think of it as the artisan's skill in crafting a durable piece of art. With solid technique, a musician can sustain their ability to perform over the years, minimizing the risk of physical strain and burnout. This longevity ensures that a musician's "shelf life" in the industry is extended, allowing them to continue sharing their musical stories with the world.

Technique is all about great sound and perpetuating that sound through eternity.

**Embracing a Growth Mindset**

A growth mindset is a cornerstone of developing technique in music. Musicians who approach their craft with this mindset view challenges and setbacks not as failures but as opportunities for growth. Every missed note, every technical difficulty, and every struggle becomes a stepping stone on the path to improvement. A growth mindset encourages musicians to continually refine their technique, expanding their musical capabilities.

Accept nothing, reject nothing, question all.

**Exploration and Unconventional Routes**

Technique, when embraced as a tool for sound creation, permits musicians to explore unconventional routes to reach unexpected destinations. It encourages them to venture beyond the confines of traditional musical boundaries, experimenting with unique sounds and innovative approaches. By straying from the beaten path, musicians can uncover novel expressions, breathing life into their compositions.

Technique is not about visuals. If you get great sound using a technique no one has ever used before, you're a genius. If you're using the same technique everyone promotes as being correct and your sound doesn't serve Music, you're not on the path to mastery.

**The Cost of Neglecting Technique**

It's important to highlight that the absence of technique equates to blind spots in a musician's imagination. As legendary jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker once said, "If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn." In other words, if you can't see the music in your mind, you can't play it. If you can't hear it, you can't bring it to life. Neglecting technique means depriving oneself of the tools required to fully express the music that resides within.

Technique in music serves as the means to bridge the gap between a musician's inner world of sound and the outer realm of music. It isn't about correctness or rigidity; rather, it's a pathway to remove obstructions, ensuring longevity, and promoting a growth mindset. Musicians who embrace technique are free to explore uncharted musical territories, giving voice to the melodies that might otherwise remain hidden in their imaginations.

After all, in music, as in life, the tools at our disposal determine the extent of our creative exploration, and technique is the master key to unlock the doors to musical innovation.

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